My dog bit me this week….5 stitches on my pointer finger, which makes typing this blog a bit challenging, My ‘i’ keeps coming out ‘u’ and my ‘l’ is coming out a ‘k.’ My ‘o’ is coming out as an ‘i’ and it’s druvung (driving) me crazy because I have to keep going back and correcting the letters!
My typing is tripping me up. Much how my feelings were this week. Happily feelings are temporal and change quickly; like Zoey going from a docile dog to a fierce animal biting me.
One moment I’m swinging on the porch swing, watching her walk stiffly around the yard. She comes and sits in front of the swing and licks her back legs. Thinking a bug might be biting her, I reached down and lifted her next to me on the seat. Just a few seconds later, I’m holding my finger, with more blood than I care to remember, dripping from my hand. In a split second, my calm dog had grabbed my finger inspecting her back, left leg, and pierced my skin with those sharp teeth that she’s flashed me many times when she felt fierce. The older she gets, the more teeth I see.
Shiucjed (shocked) and Dusbekuef (Disbelief) that she actually bit me raced through my mind. She’s growled and nipped through her thirteen years, but she’s never bitten me. I actually said, “You bit me!” (People with pets talk to them as if the are human).
Then I start FEELING the pain. I cup my finger with my left hand try to figure out how to open the back door with the blood pouring out and the throbbing fingertip. I’m afraid to look at the actual bite. Grabbing several paper towels, I wrapped my finger and tried not to see the white paper turn red. The floor shows my path with drops of blood and I don’t know why that bothers me, but I grabbed a dishcloth and wiped up my trail with my uninjured hand.
There’s more red than white wrapped around my finger, so I exchange the paper towels for fresh ones. Less blood is coming out. I feel less apprehensive, but I am feeling every heart beat in my finger.
Zoey’s been acting sad and laying down the last few days before the bite, and she hasn’t wanted to play ball, which is very un-Zoey like. Her appetite has been poor too, and put that together with her stiff gate, I knew she needed to be checked out. I called the vet, but they’re closed on Saturday. First thing Monday morning…
I took a look at the actual bite, and decided I better go see a doctor. I closed Zoey up in my bedroom and headed out to Hospitality ER. It’s ridiculous, but now is when I get emotional and start crying. I’m wiping my cheeks dry and giving myself a pep talk as I drive. Inside, I can’t stop crying and I’m ushered into a room and the sweetest nurse and P.A. come in and start taking care of me.
Why is it around people all the emotions come rolling to the forefront? Perhaps it’s because that’s the way God made us. The comfort of another person who listens and gives words of encouragement that I’m doing fine, even if from a stranger, is so reassuring.
A half-hour later, I’m getting treatment. A stinging numbing shot is administered. My eyes stayed shut throughout the experience as the P.A. stitched me up and a doctor comes in to check them. I have to say the vocabulary they used while discussing the stitching made me want to faint. The word, ‘gaping’ should be used sparingly while the patient can hear. I could feel myself sweating and my body heat was worse than any hot flash I have ever experienced. As soon as he finished, I laid back on the bed and took deep breaths.
It was here that I felt like a baby. I thought of Cameron and how many stitches his body had endured and I giggled out loud thinking I’d share my insane reaction with him over five measly stitches.
With a Seven-Up in my good hand, a t-shirt and a gift bag tucked under my arm, I’m back in the car. That was the nicest experience I’ve ever had in an emergency room! I may feel differently when I get a bill, but I left with a smile on my face.
Small normal things remind us that no situation is a permanent deterrent, For example, On the way to Walgreens, I stopped at four garage sales although I didn’t have any cash on me. One was a church friend’s home. I found the cutest plates. She let me shop without money. (Yes, I did pay her later).
Finally made it to Walgreen’s to pick up antibiotics and bandages for myself and with advice from a friend, baby aspirin for Zoey to give her for pain.
Now days later. Zoey is now taking NSAIDs for inflammation which has made a huge difference in her disposition. We’re playing fetch again and she’s back to jumping!
This week, I went through my tenth wedding anniversary without John. I tried to make plans with people without making it a big deal, but they fell through. Which is where my feelings teetered back and forth and I felt sorry for myself. I cried and let sorrow fill me for a while.
Sometimes, I walk stiffly with my feelings hidden like Zoey’s sore joints. If I had asked friends right out to spend time with me to help me through the day, I’m sure someone would have come forward, but I hid my need being outwardly dishonest while inflammation was causing me pain on the inside. Like Zoey, I didn’t handle it well.
When I remember that spending time in God’s word is the NSAIDs that makes me stronger and reduces the inflammation, then I can jump and play fetch and have a happier disposition in knowing that this life is good. When I don’t, then I hobble and lay about. (Lessons learned from a dog).
Grief no longer shines brightly on me making me cringe from the overwhelming illumination of what I no longer have and the heart-brokenness that comes from being separated from John. It comes on faintly like a small pin light and then fades out of sight until a memory rises or a date brings it back closer to shine on the “what ifs” and “what was” and the “might have beens.” My heart is continuing to heal.
My finger is healing. I feel the twinges around the stitches as my skin is rebuilding itself, closing the gaps. I am still covering it with a bandage pad to keep the stitches from catching on things and from having to see it. Occasionally, I lose the bandage and I have to look at it, or I bump it on something and the pain is sharp reminding me of Zoey’s bite. One day soon, the stitches will be removed and it will perform as a finger does. I’m sure there will be a scar as a reminder of what once happened.
Looking at her sleeping beside me right now, I’m remembering her sweetness as a puppy and all the comfort she’s brought as a companion. I will look back on this week briefly as a painful moment with her, but her cuteness, loyalty, unconditional love, and the joy she brings me far outweighs this small bite on my finger.
Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings.